11 May








by L. Stewart Marsden

This is my first time.


Yes. I never did this before.

In your whole life, you never did?

In my whole life.

Hard to believe.

I know.

So, how do you like it so far?

Well, I guess it’s interesting — so far. I mean, I don’t know a lot about this. I will say, they sure are big.

Yes, they are. Always bigger in person than you think.

I guess that’s because we’re so close.

Yes. But they really are big. You want something before the game starts? C’mon, at least some Cracker Jacks. You gotta have Cracker Jacks.

Oh, the song.

Buy me some peanuts and Cra-cker Jacks!

I guess. What about you?

Can’t. It gets under my dentures. I’ll get a beer. You want one?

With Cracker Jacks? At 10 in the morning?

Yeah. You’re right. It should be 11. You know what they say about the yardarm.

Well, the yardarm must be somewhere in China, now. (Pause) So, do you drink all day?

No! New Years Day, maybe a mimosa for breakfast. Then, of course, St. Paddy’s Day — a green beer. Memorial Day — beers on the beach. The Fourth, of course, a Bloody Mary. Then Labor Day . . .

So you’re a holiday drunk.

No! It’s not that often — really.

You know what they say about drinking and denial. When you were working, you had a lunch cocktail, right?

So you don’t drink?

Not like a fish, I don’t. I like wine with dinner, and champagne on New Year’s Eve.

Sounds dull.

Honey, there ain’t nuthin’ dull about me!

Yeah. I get that feeling.

The most interesting thing about baseball to me is the bases.

The bases? Why?

That’s all I’ve ever heard about growing up as a girl. How you guys want to run the bases with a girl.

Oh — that. Yeah, I guess.

So, tell me what first base is.

Who’s on first?

Don’t start that. What’s first base?

Depends, I guess. When I was a little kid — first base was hand-holding.

Like this?

Yeah. That was first base.

So in church, when the pastor said everyone hold hands, everyone was getting to first base with their neighbor.

Nice. Noooo. You had to like the person.

And no one likes anyone in church. I’m kidding. What about second base?

A kiss.

Like this?

Well, yeah — but, you know — making out.

Which would not be appropriate now.

Hey — it’s ten o’clock!

And you were going to order a beer.

That’s not the same at all.

Let’s see . . . alcohol and sex — not the same. The only thing missing is rock and roll. Well, it seems like the same to me.

It’s not. Maybe if it were ten at night it would be different.

So why did you take me to a morning game?

Well, I never been to a spring training game before. No one has spring training in New York.

Why not?

The obvious. It’s too cold. Florida is where most of the big league teams have it.

So, this is really a first time for you, too.

Sure — I guess. But I’ve been to plenty of games in my life. My wife and I used to go to them.

You weren’t going to mention her.

Sorry. Part of the flow. After so many years . . .

I know. So — this is the first time for both of us!

Yeah! It is!

Maybe we should share a beer to celebrate?


Kidding. Okay, third base should be interesting.

Third base? Oh. Heavy petting.

And what — in your experience — makes for heavy petting?

Um, well — I —

I’ll tell you. A little of this . . .


And a little of this . . .


And some of . . .


What? The 10 o’clock thing?

No. They’re about to play the National Anthem and we need to stand up.

You having trouble standing up?

You keep that up and I will!


You wanna go someplace else?

You mean you want to leave the game?

Someplace else would mean leaving, yes.

You don’t like baseball?

I’m my age and I told you this was my first time coming to a baseball game. It doesn’t take a lot of brain grease to figure that one out.

But I paid for the tickets already . . .

You got them free from the concierge at The Glenn.

Still. And I bought you Cracker Jacks.

Well I know that must have really hurt your wallet.

Where would we go?

We can go back to my place. I’ll fix you a sandwich, and we can talk baseball until five.

Talk baseball?

You know — the bases.

And why five o’clock?

The sun is over the yardarm then.


You look worried.

I’m not worried. How many worries could I have at my age?

Well, there’s one that I know of.

That’s not it.

What, then?

I’ve never done this before.

Aha! I knew it! Well — I’ve never gone to a baseball game before.

I don’t think you can count this as going to a game. The first inning is not even over. You haven’t seen much.

What’s to see? A bunch of really large guys, spitting and digging into their crotches, yelling Hey, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon? I saw that every day in the city on my way to work. The difference is these guys get paid millions to do it. I feel like I’m contributing to some pedophile event! It’s all so sexual!


Balls. Bats. Scoring. Home runs. The base thing? C’mon — that never dawned on you?

What’re you talking about? Baseball is America’s pastime, for chrissakes!

SEX is America’s pastime! Look around at all the signs in the ball field. They’re all about sex! Jeesh, now I’m beginning to understand why you brought me to a baseball game on our first date!

Hold on! I brought you here because I knew it would be safe.

Safe? What, you thought I was going to kill you or something?

Not kill. Something.

And that would be? Oh, I know.

Well, you were flirtatious with me. At lunch and all.

It’s wrong to flirt?

No! I — I’m — not used to it.

Your wife didn’t flirt with you?

Well, no — not after a couple of decades with kids and all. You know. The fire sort of fizzles. Doesn’t it?

I divorced my first husband because he wanted to all the time. ALL the time!

All the time?

I couldn’t keep the house clean if he was at home. All I had to do was bend forward just the tiniest while loading the laundry, or doing the dishes. Forget it if I had to hand scrub the floor.

All the time?

Crazy, huh? I thought after four years it would at least subside a little. Nope.

What happened?

Turned out all the time for me was also all the time for him — no matter where he was. At home . . . or away.


I can put up with a lot of things, but not that. So, you wanna get out of here or what?

I told you I never done this before.

I know. You’re nervous. It’s the unknown.

Sort of. I never cheated on my wife.

Really? Never?

No. Never. I never did the things guys in my golf group used to talk about. I never said anything when they were laughing about things like that.

Didn’t they ask you?

Well, I guess me being a salesman and all — being quiet about it added to the mystery of me with them, I suppose.

But you didn’t deny anything with them.

I would just smile. Who knows what they must have thought about me?

Know what?


Girls get hot about that.

Angry hot?

Hot. You know.


Known a lot of men who are so loud about things — money, success, women. They gotta crow all the time.


Did you drive a big truck ever?

No. Don’t like trucks. Actually, I never needed a truck.

Guys who drive those big-grilled, chrome-all-over-the-place, big treaded tires and all? Or those really expensive SUVs. Who needs an SUV in Florida?  Know what I think?


Small. REALLY small. Down there, I mean.


Don’t laugh! Big talk, fat wallets, big cars, expensive watches? Overcompensation.

I don’t have a truck — or an SUV.

And you don’t talk big, or flash cash, or wear gold bling. That’s what attracted me to you in the first place.


That, and you’re not dead. I mean, you have to know that you’re a rare commodity at The Glens.

How so?

Look around you! Just how many men do you see?

Well, not as many men as women, that’s for sure.

Because they’re dead. Those that aren’t? They’re lugging an oxygen bottle around, or are doing slow-motion drag racing on their wheelchairs. OR, they are married. They golf or play tennis or pinochle. And they’re always together. Always. But you? You are one of the few who is available. And, you’re not an ass.

Well, thank you.

So far as I can tell, anyway. Look, how many more good years do you think you have?

I’m not sure. Maybe five — maybe more. I come from a long line of long livers. My mother was 96 when she passed.

Even so, you never know is what I say.  In my book, you gotta strike while the iron’s hot.

In my case the iron is luke-warm, if that.

You’re a good man. Handsome. You’re available. You don’t spit and grab your crotch like those guys . . .

Well, not in mixed company I don’t.


So what?

Wanna go someplace? My place? Talk about the bases? Hmmm? I’m almost done with the Cracker Jacks, if that means anything.

Well . . .

I’ll make you a sandwich?

You know — this is a really big thing for me . . .

Let’s not talk size now. Make up your mind. You know what they say, carpe diem.

Seize the day.

Be-fore it seizes you.

Never heard that.

I made it up. But it makes sense — especially at our age. Seizes? Seizures?

I get it.



Seeing it’s my first time — do you promise to be gentle?

I promise. Well, plus I have brittle bones and have to be gentle.

Well, okay, then.

Great! (Pause) Know what?


We should do this again. Maybe we can stay longer.



Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 11 May, 2014


One Response to “First-timers”

  1. RoSy May 11, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    Cute story.

    Got a great chuckle out of this: “So in church, when the pastor said everyone hold hands, everyone was getting to first base with their neighbor.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: